Flexible Spending Accounts Becoming Less Flexible

If you have a Flexible Spending or Health Savings Account, some new rules will soon go into effect that you’re not going to be happy about.  Beginning next year, you will no longer be able to use such accounts to pay for many over-the-counter medicines or drugs (allergy and cold medicines, antacids, acne treatments, etc., although insulin is exempt from the new rules) unless your doctor has prescribed them. The same is true for Health Reimbursement Accounts and Archer Medical Savings Accounts. These rules, which will make it more expensive to buy over-the-counter remedies, comes to us, ironically enough, from the federal government’s Affordable Care Act.  If you have one of these accounts, the best you can do is to stock up on over-the-counter meds before the end of the year.

As a self-employed person who pays a fortune for health insurance and uses a Health Savings Account to derive what savings I can, I’m not at all happy about these changes.  How about you?

3 Responses to Flexible Spending Accounts Becoming Less Flexible

  1. Matt Bell September 10, 2010 at 1:55 PM #

    Lois, it isn’t really a question of whether you itemize; it’s whether you have access to and use a flexible spending account where you work, or whether you use a health savings account. If you don’t use this type of account, this rules change won’t impact you.

  2. Lois September 10, 2010 at 1:33 PM #

    I don’t itemize so technically this shouldn’t affect me.

  3. Andrew September 10, 2010 at 11:44 AM #

    Doggone. That’s frustrating. We’ve appreciated using our HSA funds on items like this, and – as health insurance isn’t cheap for our small business either – we need every little perk that we can get.

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